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remarks, that “throughout his long And led their life in great travail,» work, he shows, for his time, a very
And oft in hard stour ? of bataill, remarkable feeling for the art of poetry, Wan right great price 3 of chivalry, both by the variety which he studies in And were voided of cowardy.
As was King Robert of Scotland, the treatment and disposition of his sub
That hardy was of heart and hand ; ject, and by the rare temperance and
And good Sir James of Douglas, self-restraint which prevents him from
That in his time sae worthy was, ever overdoing what he is about, either That of his price and his bounty, 4 by prosing or raving. Even his patriot- In far lands renowned was he. ism, warm and steady as it is, is wholly of them I think this book to ma ;5 without any vulgar narrowness or fero- Now God give grace that I may swa
Treat it, and bring it till ending, But it is unnecessary to multiply tes- That I say nought but soothfast thing ! timonies to his various excellencies : these will be best seen in the specimens
THE VALUE OF FREEDOM. which follow :
Ah ! freedom is a noble thing !
Freedom makes man to have liking ! (Modernised in spelling.)
Freedom all solace to man gives !
He lives at ease, that freely lives ! Stories to read are delitable,
A noble heart may have none ease, Suppose that they be nought but fable :
Na ellys o nought that may him please, Then should stories that soothfast were,
If freedom fail: for free liking And they were said on gude manner,
Is yearned 7 o'er all other thing. Have double pleasance in hearing.
Na he that aye has lived free
May not know well the property,
The anger, na the wretched doom
That is coupled to foul thraldom.
But, if he had essayed it,
Then all perquer he should it wit,
And should think freedom more to prize Giff my wit might suffice theretill;
Than all the gold in world that is.
Thus contrary things evermare
Discoverings of the tother are.
And when that they all ready were, Right as they then in presence were.
The king has heard a woman cry;
6 Nor else. 1 Talk, relating.
7 Eagerly desired. * Agreeable. 4 Nor let.
4 Goodness, worth. 8 Perfectly; parccur?
He asked what that was in hy."
And frae' the heart be discomfit
Therefore I trow that good ending
For if you think speedful that we
We leave, your liking to fulfill.
To do right as ye will devise
Therefore say of your will plainly."
And with a voice then 'gan they cry And syne forth on his wayis rade,
“Good King for owtyn 3 mare delay
Ordain you hale for the battle
For doute of deed we shall nought fail :
Nor no pain shall refused be
Untill we've made our country free."
When the king had heard, so manfully
In heart, great gladship 'gan he ta ;4
ye Bruce's Address.
Shape 5 we us therfore in the morning.
Sae that we, by the sun rising, “Lordings, we ought to love and luff
Have heard mass ; and buskytó weill
Ilk7 man in till his own eschell, 8
Without the villion arrayed
In battalions, with banners displayed.
And look ye no wise break array.
And, as ye love me, I you pray
That ilk man, for his own honour,
Purvey 9 him a good banner.
And when it comes to the fight,
Ilk man set heart, will, and might,
To stint to our foe's meikle" pride.
On horse they will arrayèd ride ;
And come on you in full great hy."
Meet them with spears hardily;
* From the time.
7 Each. ? Everyway.
8 Division. 1 In haste. 2 Lavender, a laundress, 3 Without.
9 Provide. washer-woman. Lavendière, Fr.
4 Began he to take. 10 Bring down. 3 Caused. 4 Stretched. 5 Fared. 5 Prepare.
II Great. 6 Praise. 7 Above.
6 Ready armed.
And think then on the meikle ill
To meet them at their first assemble
hands without fail
6 Meaning here obscure.
7 Believe surely.
Have eye to take of their riches ;
As I before, here, have you tauld,
The thick of the Battle.
Defeat of the English Archers. The English archers shot so fast, That, might their shot have ony last, It had been hard to Scottis men. But King Robert that well gan ken That their archers were perilous, And their shot right hard and grievous, Ordained forthwith the assemblé, His marshal with a great menye, Five hundred armed into steel, That on light horse were horsèd weel, For to prick among the archers; And so assail them with their spears, That they na layser 15 have to shoot. This marshal that I of mute, 16 That Sir Robert of Keith was called,
7 Such a manner.
13 Advise. 14 Ready. 15 Leisure. 16 Treat of.
There might no armour stynt: their strak. Where all the field of blood was red. They too fruchyt? that they might o'ertak; Arms and quhytyss' that they bear, And with axes such duschys3 gave With blood was so defouled there That they helms and heads clave. That they might not descroyita be. And their faes right hardily
A mighty God! who then might see Met them, and dang 4 on them dough tely That Stewart, Walter, and his rout, With weapons that were styth 5 of steel: And the good Douglas that was so stout, There was the battle strekytó weel. Fighting into that stalwart stour,3 So great din there was of dints,
We should say that till all honour As weapons upon armour stynts;7 They were worthy, that, in that fight, And of spears sae great bresting8 So fast pressed their foes might And sic thrang and sic thursting,
That them rushed where they yeid. 4 Sic girning, groaning, and so great Their men might see many a steed A noise, as they 'gan other beat;
Fleeing astray, that lord had nane. And ensigns on ilka side ;
A Lord! who then good tents had tane 6 Giving and taking wounds wide,
Till the good Earl of Murray, That it was hideous for to hear :
And his, that so great routs gae, All their four battillis 9 with that were And fought so fast in that battle Fighting in a front wholily.
Tholing 7 sic paines and travail A mighty God! how doughtely
That they and theirs made sic debate,8 Sir Edward the Bruce and his men, That where they come, they made them Among their faes contened 10 them then! gate 9 Fighting in so good covine,"
Then might men here enseynyeis 10 cry: So hardy, worthy, and so fine,
And Scottis men cry hardily That their vaward rushed 12 was;
"On them! On them! On them! they And, maugre!3 thair, left the place:
fail !" And till their great rout, to warand 14 With that so hard they 'gan assail, They went; that tane had upon hand And slew all that they might overta, So great annoy, that they were effrayit 15 And the Scottis archers alsua For Scottis, that them hard assayit, Shot among them so deliverly," That then were in a schiltrum 16 all. Engrieving them so gretumly, 12 Wha happened in that fight to fall That what for them, that with them fought, I trow again he should not rise:
That so great routis to them wrought, There might men see, on many wise And pressed them full eagrely ; Hardiments eschewed 17 doughtely ; And what for arowis, that felly And many that wight were and hardy, Many great wounds 'gan them ma, 13 Soon lying under feet all dead ;
And slew fast of their horse alsua ;
That they wandyst 14 a little way. I Stand.
10 Conducted. 2 Broke.
II Order and skill. 3 Hard blows. 12 Driven back.
I Woollen coats.
8 Contention. 4 Struck.
13 Against their will. Recognised 9 Way for themselves. 5 Hard. 14 Shelter.
10 War cries. 6 Extended. 15 Frightened.
11 Skilfully. 7 Strikes.
16 Arranged in round 5 Heed. ? Breaking order.
13 Make. 9 Battalions. 17 Daring achieved. 7 Enduring.